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Dr. Art Sedrakyan Joins Weill Cornell Medical College and Hospital for Special Surgery to Lead Comparative Effectiveness Initiative

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Studies to Focus on Benefits of Cardiothoracic and Orthopedic Devices for Patients

NEW YORK (June 9, 2010) — A leading authority in comparative effectiveness research, Dr. Art Sedrakyan has been appointed director of a new collaborative program in comparative effectiveness research (CER) based in the Department of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College. The program's research portfolio will initially focus on devices, drugs and alternative approaches for the management of orthopedic conditions and cardiovascular diseases, with the intent of using this to build a comprehensive program in comparative effectiveness research for the entire medical center.

The initial partners for this program are Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), the Weill Cornell Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and the Dean's Office at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Sedrakyan's primary faculty appointment is in the Department of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College. He holds joint appointments in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Research Division of HSS.

As a result of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, $1.1 billion of new federal funding has been designated for comparative effectiveness research, which involves studies aimed at identifying which treatments provide the greatest benefit to different patient groups, ultimately to improve care for all patients.

Known for his medical, academic, research and regulatory expertise, Dr. Sedrakyan previously served as a medical officer and commissioner's fellow at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health, and as senior service officer and senior adviser at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Center for Outcomes and Evidence. (The FDA and AHRQ are divisions of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.) While at AHRQ, Dr. Sedrakyan was the program officer working with the Weill Cornell Department of Public Health and HSS on the institutions' Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERT) grant, which supports research into the outcomes and cost-effectiveness of medical and orthopedic devices. He also initiated the Effective Healthcare Cardiovascular Consortium that conducted and funded some of the first linkages of national cardiovascular and administrative databases and collaborative outcomes studies.

"Comparative effectiveness research is essential both to improve health care quality and address the issue of spiraling costs in ways that incorporate clinical perspectives and concerns," says Dr. Alvin I. Mushlin, chairman of the Department of Public Health and the Nanette Laitman Distinguished Professor of Public Health and professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, public health physician-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and principal investigator on the Weill Cornell/HSS CERT grant. "I have had the pleasure of working closely with Dr. Sedrakyan and am confident that his extensive experience and successful track record make him the ideal choice to lead this initiative."

"We are extremely fortunate to have someone of the stature of Dr. Sedrakyan to lead this joint research endeavor," says Dr. Steven Goldring, chief scientific officer and St. Giles Chair at Hospital for Special Surgery, and professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. "Under his leadership, our two institutions have the opportunity to collaborate and demonstrate our commitment to clinical research and quality outcomes to improve patient care."

"I am very pleased that Dr. Sedrakyan will be leading this important and timely new joint initiative," says Dr. Antonio M. Gotto Jr., the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College. "I personally look forward to our planned work together in the field of lipid-lowering therapy, and I wholeheartedly support the mission of the entire collaborative program."

"I am honored to be given this appointment by these two extraordinary institutions," says Dr. Sedrakyan. "This is a wonderful opportunity since comparative effectiveness research is increasingly being recognized as vital to the improvement of health care by the federal government as well as the medical and scientific communities."

Dr. Sedrakyan received his medical degree from the Yerevan State Medical University in Yerevan, Armenia, and completed a residency in cardiac surgery in a combined program between the Institute of Surgery/Armenia and the St. Joseph Medical Center in Patterson, N.J. He received a doctor of science degree in cardiovascular medical/surgical sciences from the National Research Center of Surgery of the Academy of Medical Sciences in Moscow, Russia, followed by a Robert Wood Johnson postdoctoral fellowship in epidemiology and public health at the Yale University School of Medicine. In 2008 he was awarded a Ph.D. in health policy and management from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to his appointments at the Department of Health and Human Services, he held faculty positions at the Royal College of Surgeons of England and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He was also a Methodology Adviser to the National Collaborating Center for Acute Care, part of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in the U.K. He has received numerous honors and published extensively in peer-reviewed journals. His professional memberships include the Evidence-Based Surgery Workgroup of the Society of Thoracic Surgery and the Council of Epidemiology and Prevention of the American Heart Association.

Hospital for Special Surgery

Founded in 1863, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is a world leader in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. HSS is nationally ranked No. 2 in orthopedics, No. 3 in rheumatology and No. 24 in neurology by U.S.News & World Report (2009), has received Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. From 2007 to 2010, HSS was a recipient of the HealthGrades Joint Replacement Excellence Award. A member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System and an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS provides orthopedic and rheumatologic patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center. All Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are on the faculty of Weill Cornell Medical College. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at www.hss.edu.

Weill Cornell Medical College 

Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University's medical school located in New York City, is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research from bench to bedside, aimed at unlocking mysteries of the human body in health and sickness and toward developing new treatments and prevention strategies. In its commitment to global health and education, Weill Cornell has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical College is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances -- including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, and most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. Weill Cornell Medical College is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with the Methodist Hospital in Houston, making Weill Cornell one of only two medical colleges in the country affiliated with two U.S.News & World Report Honor Roll hospitals. For more information, visit www.weill.cornell.edu.


Andrew Klein
ank2017@med.cornell.edu

Weill Cornell Medicine
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